Currently On View

Wojciech Gilewicz
Curated by Bartek Remisko

Friday, October 23 from 6-8 pm
On view: October 23 – November 29 2015
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: 120 Essex Street (inside Essex Street Market) NY, NY 10002

The Gallery will be closed on Thursday, November 26.

Meet The Artist on Friday, November 27 from 12 to 8p: Join Cuboids artist, Wojciech Gilewicz, and curator, Bartek Remisko, at Cuchifritos Gallery to learn more about the artist’s work and practice before the exhibition closes on Sunday, November 29.

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Cuchifritos Gallery is pleased to present Cuboids, a solo exhibition by Polish American artist Wojciech Gilewicz comprised of three eponymous spatial, painted objects and a video. This autonomous film narrative combining painting and performative interventions reminds of an early student film by Roman Polanski “Two Men and a Wardrobe” (Dwaj ludzie z szafa, 1958).

As Ela Bittencourt writes “… In Cuboids, Gilewicz stresses the repetiveness in his own work. Frame after frame, we see him transport, discard and reinstall the cubes, emphasizing physical labor over the exaltation of an artist creating in a studio. And although Gilewicz as filmmaker is in complete control, as actor he struggles with the cubes’ unwieldy sizes and weights. In this sense, Cuboids is a situation comedy, which in its inventiveness and humor harks back to Gilewickz’ earlier works. And while the idea that art is a matter of social intervention is not new, Cuboids dramatizes this notion in ways that are both deadly serious and seriously funny.”

In his work, Gilewicz touches upon the value of labor, both artistic and physical, fulfillment as it relates to the production and over-production of art in a global economic slowdown and the roles of critics and art institutions. His work ultimately reveals, in picturesque and even humoristic ways, the limits of artistic activities themselves and the part they play in a wider social environment. His DIY-like project shows how art and life are interwoven and that art can still be done for the sheer pleasure of creation without any explicit plan or purpose.

According to Sara Reisman “… Wojciech Gilewicz’ practices is about expanding the scope of painting specifically and art art generally into the realm of daily life, usually public and sometimes private… Gilewicz… questions the very nature of art, dismantling it from the rarified, official spaces of culture to a much wider field that leads to the discovery that life itself as art.” Marco Antonini of New York-based NURTUREart wrote that “…Beyond fine art, Gilewicz’ projects can be considered a form of context-driven creative labor split between cultural criticism, institutional critique and genuine social involvement…”

This exhibition marks the New York premier of Gilewicz’ Cuboids video and the fourth presentation of the artist’s three painterly objects (previously presented in New York in the framework of group exhibitions in ISCP Gallery in 2010, Queens Museum of Art in 2013, and Art Omi in Ghent, NY in 2014). They were also on public display in the front yard of the artist’s mother’s home in Arverne in the Rockaways, Queens (NY).

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published on the occasion of Gilewicz’ solo show Rockaway at the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw, Poland (22 May- 30 June 2015) with new critical pieces on Gilewicz’ video triptych comprised of Cuboids, E22, and Rockaway, all of which were made in and around New York between 2001 and 2015. The three videos pay homage not only to Gilewicz’ creative origin as a painter but also to the complexity and value of (artistic) work. They can also be read as a sort of “Song for My Mother” paying homage to the artist’s immigrant mother, who appears in each video. The essay authors include independent film critic Ela Bittencourt (São Paulo), Sara Reisman from the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation (New York) and Todd Shalom of Elastic City (New York), with and introduction by independent scholar David A. Goldfarb (Honolulu).

This exhibition at Cuchifritos is the artist’s third solo show in the U.S. after Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis (2008) and Flux Factory in New York (2012). Gilewicz’ most recent American group shows include Monitaur at Aspen Art Museum (2009) as well as In Practice (SculptureCenter, NY; 2009), Videorover (NURTUREart, NY; 2012) and Seven (The Boiler/Momenta Art, NY; 2014).

Images: Wojciech Gilewicz, Cuboids, 2015, video (HD), video stills. Courtesy of the artist.

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Wojciech Gilewicz was born in 1974 in Biłgoraj, Poland. He lives and works in Warsaw and New York. He is a painter, photographer and author of installations, performative actions and videos. Drawing on his experience of the painting medium, he creates formally varied works, which seek to investigate the boundaries of art and space. In his recording of reality, Gilewicz remains loyal to the painting tradition. Each frame registered by his camera becomes a painting, the camera itself fluidly transforming into a means of registering social relations, which take place ‘outside’ his actions. Gilewicz’ art provokes reflection on the mechanisms which govern perception and its cultural conditioning. The author actively collaborates with the viewer, whom he involves both in his projects and in polemics about myths and stereotypes concerning the most recent art, its reception and interpretation. Gilewicz takes on board issues related to the role of painting in today’s world, the status of the artist and artistic work in the context of the institution and the circulation of art, as well as a society at large. In 2009, the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw published Them – an artistic album of Wojciech Gilewicz’ work, presenting a series of photographic double self-portraits, a project started in 2002, which continues to date.

Selected solo exhibitions include Awangarda Gallery Sale, Wrocław (Poland), 2011; Bunkier Sztuki Studio, Kraków (Poland), 2012; Flux Factory Residency Unlimited, New York (USA), 2012, Manggha Museum Intrude, Kraków (Poland), 2012; Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts Painter’s Painting, Taipei, (Taiwan), 2013; Foksal Gallery Rockaway, Warsaw (Poland), 2015; Cuchifritos Gallery / Artists Alliance Inc. Cuboids, New York (USA), 2015.

Selected group exhibitions include SculptureCenter In Practice, New York (USA), 2009; Zendai Museum of Modern Art Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366, Shanghai (China), 2009; Museums of Bat Yam Factory (Israel), 2009; Aspen Art Museum Monitaur (USA), 2009; Museum of Contemporary Art BELGRADE: NONPLACES. Art in public space, Belgrade (Serbia), 2009; castillo/corrales Hello Goodbye Thank You Again, Paris (France), 2009; ISCP Gallery There Has Been No Future, There Will Be No Past. Challenging Cultural Profiling in Central and Eastern European Art, New York (USA), 2010; National Museum of Contemporary Art / Changdong Art Studio A Day in the Market, Seoul (South Korea), 2010; FRAC Limousin Electro Geo, Limoges (France), 2010; Wrocław Contemporary Museum The Artificial Fullmoon (Poland), 2012; Beit Ha’air Museum for Urban Culture Plain, Tel Aviv (Israel), 2013; Queens Museum of Art Queens International 2013, New York (USA), 2013; The Boiler / Momenta Art Seven, New York (USA), 2014; The Africa Centre Infecting the City, Cape Town (South Africa), 2015; IDEAS CITY / The New Museum The Invisible City, New York (USA), 2015; Roswell Museum and Art Center New Media New Mexico, Santa Fe (USA), 2015.

Video works by the artists were presented in the framework of numerous screenings including: Media Art Biennale WRO, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid and Hors Pistes Japon.

Bartek Remisko has worked in arts administration and the cultural sector for over ten years. His interests lie particularly in visual arts and Polish-Jewish relations. He also has extensive experience in corporate social responsibility, diversity management, public affairs and relations as well as international relations.

After interning at the Polish permanent missions to UNESCO in Paris and the United Nations in New York, Mr. Remisko worked at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Education and Culture Directorate of the European Commission, and the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture, both in Brussels. He also served as an Expert in Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity Management for the TP-Orange Group in Warsaw, the largest communications company in Central and Eastern Europe and part of the worldwide France Telecom-Orange Group. While in this position, he also collaborated on cultural and educational programming with its corporate charity, the Orange Poland Foundation, and the global Orange Foundation headquarters in Paris. Mr. Remisko has been Deputy Director of the Polish Cultural Institute New York, part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, since September 2011 and its Acting Director from August 2014 through September 2015. He is currently an Adviser for Public Affairs and International Relations to the Chairman of PG Energy in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Remisko is a member of the Civic Forum on Contemporary Art in Poland and serves on the Audit Committee of the Responsible Business Forum in Warsaw. He is also member of the Board of Directors of New York-based Residency Unlimited, a non-profit art residency program in Brooklyn for international and American visual artists and curators.

Mr. Remisko has degrees in the humanities as well as arts and cultural administration from Warsaw University, the Warsaw School of Economics, Institut d’Etudes Politiques Sciences-Po Paris, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and Universite ParisVIII. He is currently enrolled in the Arts Administration program at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Marie and John Zimmerman Foundation, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.